Archive for March 18th, 2008

Zeal for Others

In 2 Samuel 4, we again see what zeal David seems to have in vindicating people wronged other than himself. He will endure for years someone who mistreats him, but lay a hand on another and David is compelled to requite justice.

His name was Mephibosheth:
This was the son of Jonathan, David’s covenantal friend, who died with his father in battle. Mephibosheth was the last male descendant of Saul with a strong legal claim to the throne of Saul. At this time he was only 12 years old – and he was lame.

As she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame:
Mephibosheth was weak because of circumstances beyond his control. He was weak because of his age, and because of injury that came from the hand of another.

We will see more of Mephibosheth in later chapters!

Think of those two Benjamites bringing Ishbosheth’s severed head to David. Claiming to David, “We are God’s servants, defeating your enemies as instruments of God.”

Their claim, “The Lord has avenged my lord the king,” was presuming on God’s approval of their deed, as though they had acted on the Lord’s express orders, instead of their own selfish plot to gain favor with the up and coming king!

The son of Saul your enemy.
Rechab & Baanah would have fared better if they had kept their mouth shut. How often I add words to a conversation just to prevent silence, and it ends up damaging things.

So as these Benjamites relate to David the account the son of Saul your enemyDavid couldn’t relate to this, because he didn’t think of Saul as his enemy. The beautiful song David composed at the death of Saul and Jonathan shows that though Saul set himself as an enemy of David, David did not regard him as an enemy, but rather as the Lord’s anointed!

Rechab and Baanah thought David would be pleased to see the severed head of Ishbosheth. They underestimated David’s loyalty to God and the house of Saul. David was loyal to his pledge to honor and preserve Saul’s family and descendants.

Even though Ishbosheth was not the Lord’s anointed in the same sense as Saul was, David had thoroughly learned to let God take vengeance!

So, David would not accept their evil deed, even though it seemed to serve a good purpose – unifying Israel under David’s reign as king.

“While it is true that God overrules all the doings of men, and compels them ultimately to serve His high purposes, it is equally true that no servant of His can ever consent to do evil that good may come. It is an arresting truth that our Lord in the days of his earthly life would not accept the testimony of demons.” (You’ll never guess! Yep, Spurgeon!)

Oh Loyal Covenant Keeper, grant me a heart that waits patiently for Your will to be accomplished, and a zeal for the justice for others. And guide this fickled heart to be able to discern how a good purpose should righteously be pursued! Bank me in with discernment and wisdom.

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